Second-place Wolves denied first-team recognition
Eagle River’s football team finished second in the Northern Lights Conference but last in the hearts of the conference’s coaches.
The Wolves were shut out of All-NLC voting this year as conference champion Soldotna took the lion’s share of first-team honors and the rest were given to players from teams that finished below Eagle River in the standings.
Among the NLC’s top awards, the Stars swept all but Coach of the Year — with that honor going to Kodiak’s Brian Ellsworth after he guided his team to a 2-6 campaign that included a 41-7 loss to Eagle River.
Soldotna’s Jersey Truesdell was named the NLC Offensive Player of the Year, with Galen Brantley III the Defensive Player of the Year. SoHi’s Melvin Lloyd was named Lineman of the Year and Stars assistant Eric Pomerleau was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
The Stars — who won their eighth straight Division II state championship on Saturday — had eight players named to both the first-team offense and first-team defense. The remainder of first-team offensive and defensive players were split between third-place Kodiak and last-place Kenai Central, with each team landing five players on the first teams.
On special teams, Soldotna received three first-team selections, Kodiak had two and Kenai had one.
Eagle River beat Kenai 31-0 during the regular season. The Wolves went 2-1 in the NLC and lost to Lathrop in the first round of the Division II state playoffs to finish 4-5 overall.
Although none of their players were named first-team offense, defense or special teams, the Wolves did have several second-team selections, including running back Cashiez Reaves, tight end Josh Tripp, tackle Seth Hatton and guard Orazio Ramos on offense; and linebackers Tripp and Jacob Skelton, defensive backs LaDavian Simon and Justin Davis, and interior linemen Ramos and Hatton on defense.
All Northern Lights Conference Football
Lineman of the Year: Melvin Lloyd, Soldotna
Defensive Player of the Year: Galen Brantley III, Soldotna
Offensive Player of the Year: Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna
Coach of the Year: Brian Ellsworth, Kodiak
Assistant Coach of the Year: Coach Pomerleau . Soldotna
Quarterback: Jersey Truesdell, SoHi; Halfback: Aaron Faletoi, SoHi; Hudson Metcalf, SoHi; Fullback: Wyatt Medcoff, SoHi; Wide Receiver: Braedon Pitsch, Kenai; Tight End: Galen Brantley III, SoHi; Tackle: Melvin Lloyd, SoHi; Joshua Avega-migue, Kodiak; Guard: Justice Roy, SoHi; Trent Walden, SoHi; Center: Hunter Beck, Kenai
Outside Linebacker: Hudson Metcalf, SoHi; Tucker Vann, Kenai; Edgee Ocampo, Kodiak; Inside Linebacker: Aaron Faletoi, SoHi; Galen Brantley III, SoHi; Josue Martinez, Kodiak; Defensive Backs: Jersey Truesdell, SoHi; Wyatt Medcoff, SoHi; Braedon Pitsch, Kenai; Vince Mangrobang, Kodiak; Interior Lineman: Melvin Lloyd, SoHi; Zack Zeigler, SoHi; Ray Chumley, SoHi; Hunter Beck, Kenai; Joshua Miguel, Kodiak
First-Team Special Teams
Long Snapper: Dylan Zurflueh, Kodiak; Kicker: Jersey Truesdell, SoHi; Return Specialist: Wyatt Medcoff, SoHi; Vince Mangrobang, Kodiak; Punter: Justin Anderson, Kenai; Utility Player: Zack Hanson, SoHi
Quarterback: Ryan Walker, Kodiak; Halfback: Vince Mangrobang, Kodiak; Cashiez Reaves, Eagle River; Fullback: Tucker Vann, Kenai; Tight end: Josh Trip, Eagle River; Tackle: Gideon Craig, Kodiak; Seth Hatton, Eagle River; Guard: Orazio Ramos, Eagle River; Center: Dylan Zurfluh, Kodiak;
Outside linebacker: Ryan Walker, Kodiak; Inside linebacker: Jacob Skelton, Eagle River; Josh Trip, Eagle River; Defensive back: Justin Davis, Eagle River; LaDavian Simon, Eagle River; Igan Galindez, Kodiak; Interior lineman: Gideon Craig, Kodiak; Orazio Ramos, Eagle River; Seth Hatton, Eagle River; Punter: Andy Francisco, Kodiak.